With the Kentucky Derby just over three months away, Extra Hope provided plenty of just that on Thursday at Santa Anita, as he pressed a fast pace and took command five sixteenths of a mile from home en route to an impressive 3 1/4-length win in the day's $57,000 one mile allowance feature for 3-year-olds. Trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Flavien Prat, the Kentucky-bred colt by Shanghai Bobby got the distance over a sloppy track that had been sealed overnight in 1:34.74, while coming home the final furlong in 13.05 seconds.
“He's a nice 3-year-old colt and we all have the same dreams,” said owner/breeder Samantha Siegel, when asked if she might allow herself to “think big” regarding Extra Hope's future plans. “I'm really excited. His dam (Lotsandlotsofhope, by Tiznow) could really run, but she got hurt and only ran once. This is her first baby. We'll get up tomorrow and hope he's good and then maybe we'll start thinking big.”
Sent from his outside post position in a field of seven, Extra Hope was lapped on Gray Magician and Joel Rosario into and around the first turn and up the backside. Mid-way around the far turn, it was obvious something had to give as Extra Hope burst clear approaching the quarter pole en route to victory.
Idle since running third behind top Derby hopeful Improbable in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 8, Extra Hope was the second choice in the wagering at 3-1 and paid $8.20, $3.80 and $2.80.
An 8 3/4-length maiden winner going a mile and one sixteenth in his fourth start on Oct. 21, Extra Hope now has two wins from seven starts and with the winner's share of $34,200, he increased his earnings to $128,400.
Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke and trained by Bob Baffert, Kingly sat a close third into the far turn and was clearly second best of the day, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of Big Scott Daddy. Off as the 8-5 favorite, Kingly paid $3.40 and $3.00.
With Mike Smith up, Big Scott Daddy rallied from off the place to finish third by 2 3/4 lengths over longshot Manhattan Up. Off at 3-1, Big Scott Daddy paid $3.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.86, 45.14, 1:08.97 and 1:21.69.
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